Overall, I think that Content Community Platforms are a very wonderful and unique way for users, both individuals and brands, to share visual content with others! Specifically, I think that in order for a brand or company to become more successful, especially within its social media endeavors, it must be capable of publishing content that is of both high quality and distinction. What better way to achieve and maximize these goals than through the use of Content Community Platforms!
There are so many Content Community Platforms out there that a brand or company will most definitely be able to find AT LEAST one platform that simultaneously fits its target market and its business goals. The brand or company just needs to understand its main message, its target market, and then be able to take the time to fully review and understand its options, before selecting a platform.
For example, companies that are more interactive may find that video-formatting is the best way to share content. There are many Content Community Platforms out there that promote video footage, however two of the most popular are Youtube and Vimeo. A great example of a company that could use video focused Content Community Platforms would be one associated with extreme sports or the outdoors. This said brand or company could record live footage of its products in use and then add cool effects and music in order to attract users and create brand awareness.
Personally, I believe that video based footage is how my client, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, would be most beneficial. However, I unfortunately could not gather enough related video footage for the company to create a Youtube or Vimeo channel, so I had to turn to other Content Community Platforms. If I were to ever have the ability to create social media marketing content for Pete Smith’s Surf Shop on a professional level, I think that creating a Vimeo channel for the business would be one of my first tasks. Extreme sports, such as surfing, are very fun to watch and a lot could be incorporated into such video content that would not only support the brand, but attract new customers as well.
In saying this, I was able to turn to Pinterest and Flickr to help me to best support Pete Smith’s Surf Shops goals.
Pinterest and Flickr are also two other forms of Content Community Platforms, however, they are more focused on singular images that can be collaged together to create an overall mood. Though both of these platforms really focus on singular images to create a larger picture, they are still very interactive in their own unique ways and I was able to use both platforms very differently.
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is a very small and family-run retail business with two locations in South Jersey that specializes in board sports and boutique clothing, so I kept these two characteristics of the brand in mind while creating my Content Community Platforms.
This business prides itself on its employees and its local reputation. Pete Smith’s Surf Shop wants each customer that walks into the store to feel as if they are the only person in the store at that moment and are receiving a “personal shopper” who can assist them with any need that may arise. These relationships created between employees and customers are what makes the shopping experience at Pete Smith’s so memorable and makes the shoppers want to come back time and time again. I tried to think about how I could keep that “closeness” in tact, while still branching out into the Content Community Platform world, which is so large and not exactly the most “personal”. However, I was able to think of different strategies to move forward within the promotion of my clients goals!
In order to promote the more standardized retail aspect of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, I used Pinterest.
I created a Pinterest Board specifically for this assignment that I named, Fall Campaign (MMC5006). This board was unique in that it promoted the brands that Pete Smith’s carries. I tried to use a more “mood board” feeling in the creation of this board. For example, I pinned anything that I could find that was created by some of the larger retailers that Pete Smith’s carries, that also looked like something potential customers of the store would be interested in. I intermingled both mens and women’s apparel so that viewers would know that Pete Smith’s sells clothing for both sexes! I also made sure that I captioned each pin with an “intriguing” caption and then went on to hash tag the product, brand, and Pete Smith’s in every pin, in addition to adding Pete Smith’s as the location for each pin for optimum foot traffic into the store!
Pete Smith’s is located in New Jersey so the weather is much more “fall-like” than it currently is in Florida. Keeping that in mind, I tried to incorporate some fall-winter transitional pieces into my board because I was keeping the client and what they may currently want in mind! However, if I were doing running the main Pinterest Board for Pete Smith’s I would divide my boards into seasons, sexes, brands, sports, etc. But for this project I wanted to give the viewer an overall “fall feeling” of what type of merchandise is available at Pete Smith’s!
In order to promote the more “extreme sports” side of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop I used Flickr.
Keeping the target market of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop in mind, I referred back to a few of the customers of the store that I know on a personal basis. Many of the customers that I know are less concerned with the retail aspect of the store, and are more concerned with the “extreme surf” aspect of the store. This means that they will come into Pete Smith’s searching for a particular surfboard or a particular wetsuits, however, they are ultimately looking for that item so that they can go and use it in the environment that they feel most comfortable in- the ocean. This buying process differs greatly from the customers (like myself) that are going into the store to buy a “surf brand” so that I can look “beachy” and “trendy” while on summer vacation.
In saying this, I used the Flickr Platform to showcase a photostream of action shots of some of the products that Pete Smith’s carries in store. Many of the photos have been taken in exotic places and are very appealing to the eye and inspirational for those who are into extreme sports. I additionally made sure to title each photo. I kept each title consistent by providing the location and year it was taken. I additionally kept each caption consistent by naming the rider in each image, specifying what type of board they were riding, and using hashtags that were orderly and applicable! I even used some surf/skate lingo within my captions, so I hope my viewers can appreciate that!
Again, just like I mentioned earlier when speaking about Vimeo, if I were to work full-time for Pete Smith’s, I would try to take some of my own photos (or hire a professional) and have them take pictures of individual customers using Pete Smith’s products, both locally and globally. This would give the Flickr more of a personal feel, versus the commercial feel that it currently may have. It is easier to relate with a brand when customers can see fellow customers using the products sold, versus paid models, actors, and professionals. I additionally think that personalized photos would contribute to the “family oriented” feeling that Pete Smith’s employs. I unfortunately did not know all of the names of the athletes featured within my photos, nor could I tell exactly what board they were riding, so I did have to do some improvising and create surf and surnames. I did this because I did not want to leave any photo un-captioned because I believe that many times the caption is just as important as the photo in business promotion. Once a customer is drawn into a photo, he or she needs to know how and where to buy the product being used!
I do use Pinterst within my personal life and I actually had the chance to use it in the past for another academic social media class, so I really enjoyed being able to re-visit the site again this semester and apply all that I have learned through this class to my new board! However, though I had heard of it before, I had never used Flickr prior to this assignment, so it took a little bit of getting used to, but I also enjoyed learning the ins and outs of another Content Community Platform!
Overall, I think that Content Community Platforms are a great place that brands and companies can branch out onto in order to maximize their social media usage and strengthen their brand! Content Community Platforms, especially ones like Pinterest and Flickr are really just different tools that a company can use in order to reach out to their customers and advertise themselves. Content Community Platforms are all really unique in their own ways, and I think that once a brand or company finds the one(s) that best works for itself and its goals, the possibilities are not only unique, but endless!
If I were to be a full-time social media manager for Pete Smith’s Surf Shop I would work to ensure that the content on these Content Community Platforms was original, and I would also try to make sure that each photo could either link to the website or another social media page so that users could further view the product via Pete Smith’s and then become a customer. Pete Smith’s Surf Shop does not currently sell retail online (however, they are working on it because of my suggestion!) but that would be a great way for their sales and name to increase, while also providing an additional link that could be posted on Content Community Platforms . However, due to limitations I was not able to add such content for this project, but that would be my end goal in a real-life scenario so hopefully my Content Community Platforms give a good insight into those ideas and specifications!
I hope that if a potential customer were to visit both of my Content Community Platforms, he or she would be able to understand that I used Pinterest to advertise the actual products that Pete Smith’s sells, while I used Flickr to advertise the type of lifestyle and passion for the sport that Pete Smith’s accommodates to. Together, I believe that my Content Community Platforms really complimented one another, and I had a great time creating these platforms, all while keeping the goals of my client, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, in mind!
Content Community Platforms: